Today I was standing in front of the Winter Garden — which any goddammed New Yorker knows by that name and knows where it is — and this bird drops straight out of the sky to the ground a foot away from me. Takes three breaths and dies.
This is not normal.
I call 311 — which is the overflow number for non-911 situations — to report this bird and to ask if the city would be interested to see if it is Avian Flu.
I get someone who, after a lot of sound effects of keys being tapped, eventually informs me that the Department of Health has a program to test dead birds for West Nile Virus but not Avian Flu.
Fine. End of call.
I go inside and see two cops. I tell them about the bird. In usual non-helpful NYPD fashion, I get, “Well, I’m not gonna pick up the bird. Call 311 again.”
I call 311 again and get the prize package of why we wonder where the bloody fuck our tax dollars are going while everything devolves to shit around us.
This eejit doesn’t know where the Winter Garden is. She wants a street address! Despite all the key tapping I hear, the City of New York doesn’t seem to have equipped these operatives with basic fucking street maps of the city they are supposed to serve! Despite my mantra of, “It’s behind where the World Trade Center used to be. Ground Zero. Where all the people died — unfortunately not including you.” Well, I only thought that last sentence.
Eventually, she gets around to telling me Sanitation(!!!) will be around to pick up the bird and rattles off this long Confirmation Number as if, while holding a cellphone in one hand (thank you for wasting my units!), in my other two hands I’m standing by with pen and paper ready!
Then I see someone who has that “My Life Is Shit And I’ll Make Your Life Shit Too” expression that telegraphs Security. I go up to him and tell him about this goddammed bird I wish to hell had picked somewhere else to drop dead and someone else to drop dead near, and he says it happens all the time. Birds don’t see the glass structure, fly into it at jet speeds, and BAM! D.O.A. When I mention the possibility of Avian Flu, he suddenly reveals his secret identity as an epidemiologist and specialist in global pandemicide: “If it didn’t hit you or touch you, I wouldn’t worry.” He then goes to summon one of the countless Juans who scrub the place and he picks up the bird with his bare hands and drops it in his trash bin.
When you see this stuff in the movies or TV, you think, “How the fuck can anyone be so goddammed stupid?!!?”
It’s simple: They just are!
Pigs who turn this world into their trough.
Have a fucking nice day.